BOARD OF REGISTRATIONS AND ELECTIONS, MACON-BIBB COUNTY: APRIL 14TH, 2016 MEETING

In attendance:

Cassandra Powell (Chairperson, D)

Herbert Spangler (R)

Mike Kaplan (I)

Rinda Wilson (R)

Ronnie Miley (D)

…..

Charlene Maynard (Administrative Assistant)

Jeanetta Watson (Elections Supervisor)

Tommy Gillon (Elections Officer)

Larry Smith (Senior Polling Technician)

Commissioner Elaine Lucas (Macon-Bibb, District 3)

Jud Drake (County Attorney)

Julie Moore (assistant to the County Manager for budget and planning)

Recognition of Visitors

Julie Moore: the Macon-Bibb Board of Elections is continuing to function under-budget. In 2015, the board had an amended budget of $825,000. Actual expenditures: $728,000.

Budget for 2016: $902,000. Budget year ends in June and thus far, the board has only spent about $600,000. The computer projects that the board will spend about $700,000 by June.

The [outstanding costs] you’re worried about: IT setup/rent at the satellite location in May & June…I think you’re covered. There’s no reason to put more money on the books if last year you didn’t use everything you had and this year it looks like you’ll under-spend again.

Of course, the budget fluctuates in election years versus non-election years. But despite the elections anticipated for the remainder of the year, the board will still come in with about 100k+ left over in this year’s budget.

New Office Space

July 1: will start moving things into the new space/paying rent.

Upcoming Election

Commissioner Lucas: requests that this board ensure that all citizens know where the new voting locations are, since there have been a lot of changes lately. Also encourages the board to make the sites very visible. People are just not taking the time to participate, and there’s a reason.

Member Miley: piggybacking on Commissioner Lucas…on a number of occasions, he has driven past a number of locations and noted how difficult it is to find them. We need something that signifies, on Election Day, that this is a polling place.

Member Kaplan: deadline for voter registration is April 26th. We should contact the papers & media to let them know/put something out.

Supervisor Watson: we have a media plan and we’ll be running advisories.

Chairperson Powell: since we’re already under budget, we’ll really focus on getting something out at these locations that stands out

Items from the County Attorney

Attorney Drake: I received the same email that the board members did, re: the concern over the new precinct location [a precinct in Macon-Bibb, once located at Memorial Gym, was moved to the sheriff’s office]. We’ll be responding as soon as possible. I think you [Chairperson Powell] and I shared the same concern that we don’t have the time at this point [to change the polling place location before the May election].

Member Miley: Commissioner Lucas & I have been doing voter engagement for a long time. It’s something I should have thought about. I’ve been in law enforcement for a long time…sometimes we don’t think about the things that might deter people from voting. Even if these factors may not deter me from voting, it may deter some people.

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